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Coming out of the Judd Apatow laugh factory, KNOCKED UP ($30) offers up a hilarious mixture of raunchy stoner humor wrapped around romantic comedy nougat center. Seth Rogen stars in KNOCKED UP as Ben Stone, a twenty three year old slacker, who lives with his equally immature stoner buddies, all of whom are in partners in a proposed website that points viewers to actresses "best bits" in movies. One night at a club, Ben meets Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl), who is out celebrating her promotion to "on air personality" on the "E!" cable network. However, after way, way too much liquor, Alison takes Ben home with her and wakes up with a massive amount of regret.

Eight weeks. and a boatload of home pregnancy tests later, Alison discovers she is knocked up and Ben is the father. Although barely taking care of himself, Ben decides to step up and take responsibility for his unborn child, which leads Ben and Alison to begin a romantic relationship in earnestÖ Of course, the road to happily ever after is paved with comic landmines, which includes his basic immaturity and lack of direction, as well her controlling and disapproving sister, not to mention the fact that Ben and Alison having virtually nothing in common. The cast of KNOCKED UP also features Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Martin Starr, Charlyne Yi, Joanna Kerns and Harold Ramis.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made KNOCKED UP available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. This Blu-ray release contains The Theatrical Version of the film, as well as The Unrated and Unprotected Edition. The 1080p presentations are very appealing, with the overall look of this film certainly besting THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN by a decent margin, which also translates very well to high definition. Image sharpness, clarity, dimensionality and fine detail all rank pretty highly, but one isnít likely to be using KNOCKED UP as a demo disc. Colors tend to be warm and vibrant, with generally attractive flesh tones. Blacks are accurate, whites are clean, plus the contrast and shadow detail are very good. The elements from which KNOCKED UP have been transferred appear virtually pristine. Grain is usually quite minimal, except for the darker scenes.

KNOCKED UP is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Not surprisingly, KNOCKED UP comes with a totally unremarkable, dialogue driven comedy mix. The outlying channels do see some limited active effects, but in general, the sound plays in the forward soundstage, while ambience and musical fill represent the majority of sonic elements directed to the surrounds. Still, fidelity is quite good in regards the musical component. Voices are cleanly rendered and the dialogue is totally understandable. French and Spanish DTS 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice supplements. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director/co-writer Judd Apatow, plus executive producer/actor Seth Rogen and actor Bill Hader. Universal's U-Control interface is utilized for an interactive version of the movie that provides in context picture-in-picture, pop-up supplements (requires a Profile 1.1 player).

Other supplements include the following: Line-O-Rama offers alternate improved lines from throughout the movie. Nineteen minutes of Deleted Scenes, plus another eight minutes of Extended/Alternate Scenes. Roller Coaster Documentary offers a quick look behind-the-scenes for the roller coaster sequence. Directing The Director offers more behind-the-scenes goofiness. Finding Ben Stone a funny look at finding actor to play the lead character. A live performance of the song You Canít Fail Me Now by Loudon Wainwright III. Other bits include Video Diaries, Topless Scenes (too short), Katherine Heigl Audition, First Sex On Camera, Kuni Files, Kuni Gone Wild, Stripper Confidential, Kids On The Loose, Gummy: The 6th Roomate, Raw Footage and a Gag Reel.

Judd Apatow and company keep the laughs coming with KNOCKED UP, which offers a fairly sweet and romantic story wrapped in raunchy stoner humor. The Blu-ray presentation looks really good and sound nice- exactly what one should expect for this type of cinematic comedy. Recommended.



Knocked Up [Blu-ray] (2007)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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